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Is the USA Post-Racial? Towards an explanation of the Obama ‘Miracle’ [audio]

by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
6 Nov 2009 • Comment (0) • Print
Posted: General Issue [7] | Article

Eduardo-Bonilla-SilvaColloque international: Nation, Immigration, and Identity across the Atlantic: France, Great Britain and the United States in Comparative Perspective
MESHS / Université Lille III, June 19-20, 2009.

Most people in the world have heralded the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the USA as a monumental event. They believe his election represents a watershed moment and a definitive shift in race relations. In contrast, I argue that his election is the product of 40 years of racial transition that have sedimented a new racial regime: the “new racism” characterized by practices to maintain racial privilege that are institutional, subtle, and apparently non-racial.[1] As part of this transition, a new type of minority politician has emerged no longer connected to social movements, electorally oriented, and with politics that are centre to centre right if Democrat and right wing if Republican. In this presentation,[2] I examine the context that allowed a minority politician like Obama to get elected, discuss what he did to get elected, and assess the direction of his policies so far. In general, I argue that his presidency has inaugurated a “multi-racial white supremacy regime” like those in Latin America and the Caribbean. In OBAMERICA, many will say that we are finally “All Americans” but some will still be more Americans than others.

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Eduardo Bonilla-Silva – Talk (1hr 5min)

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva – Questions & Answers (22 min)


1. White Supremacy and Racism in the Post-civil Rights Era (Lynne Rienner Publishers Inc, 2001)  [↑]

2. This is based on a chapter that will appear in the third edition of my book Racism Without Racists (2010)  [↑]

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